Man accused of planning attack on Toledo-area synagogue arrested on terror-related charge
TOLEDO, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) - A 21-year-old Ohio man is accused of attempting to provide support to foreign terrorist organizations, after investigators say not only did he plot to support ISIS, but he was trying to plan an attack on a Toledo-area synagogue after he was inspired by the Pittsburgh attack.
Damon Joseph, of Holland, Ohio, was arrested December 7th on one charge of attempting to provide material support and resources. Investigators say they first became aware of Joseph in May through social media, and say they watched him progress in a matter of months from consuming ISIS propaganda to making videos in order to inspire others to planning attacks.
Agents say after the attack on the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh in October Joseph said Jewish people are evil and "they got what was coming to them." Investigators say he also talked to an undercover employee that he was planning a shooting, and even came up with a draft plan, identifying two synagogues as targets. He wanted to inflict mass casualties, and "wanted to kill a rabbi" according to investigators. They also say he planned to attack any responding law enforcement.
Joseph was unable to legally purchase or own a firearm due to a past conviction, but investigators say he took possession of two rifles he thought the undercover officer had bought for the attack. He was arrested after taking possession of the rifles Friday.
"He attempted to recruit others to this plot. He selected firearms - firearms that he handpicked because he believed they would deliver the maximum amount of damage and destruction," US Attorney Justin Herdman said.
He faces up to 20 years in prison on the one charge, and the investigation is ongoing.
In a separate, unrelated arrest Monday, the FBI says they also arrested a Toledo woman accused of planning a mass attack on a bar. Elizabeth LeCron, 23, was charged with the transport of explosives with intent.
Both suspects were due in federal court Monday afternoon.
ABC 6/FOX 28 will continue to update this story.